Marina Bay Sands is Singapore’s celebrity chef capital.
It’s home to Wolfgang Puck’s CUT which serves steak that people fly there for; Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza by Mario Batali which we love; Justin Quek’s Sky on 57; David Thompson’s Long Chim; DB Bistro & Oyster Bar by Daniel Boulud; and Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin.
Gordon Ramsay is set to launch Bread Street Kitchen later this year, while Puck will open Spago.
But a month ago we were at Marina Bay Sands for only one chef: David Myers. Once known for Los Angeles hot spots Hinoki & the Bird and Comme Ça, the Boston-born chef and restaurateur recently opened Adrift by David Myers, a restaurant that serves modern Asian cuisine.
“Adrift is for dreamers and explorers,” Myers said.
We were ready to dream and explore while being led to the bar where a mostly Filipino staff started the evening by serving drinks from a cocktail menu created by bar consultant Sam Ross.
“A Singapore Sling?”
We shook our head, and then spotted the perfect drink for us, Trouble Maker—a mix of gin, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon, cucumber and strawberry. “This one, please,” we said.
Halfway through, and while enjoying bowls of spicy popcorn and corn nuts with the drink, we moved to our table, a cozy spot by the window. We were fixated on trying to Instagram this highly photogenic restaurant when we heard someone speak: “I heard this is the table of all tables.”
We looked up to see a handsome, ponytailed man set down a plate of rice crackers with green onion salt and yuzu kosho aioli.
Oh, David Myers, you had us at rice crackers.
But he vanished as quickly as he appeared, leaving us to mull the menu while our Filipino waiters encouraged us to order.
On the menu was a personal note from Myers: “Adrift represents the feeling I experience when traveling the world in search of colorful cultures and vibrant flavors… To fully enjoy the Adrift experience, order as I do when on a mission of discovery—try many small plates and share!”
And that’s what we did.
Starting with what Myers calls Drinking Bites, we tried Fried Oysters, as well as Crispy Fried Chicken with Mustard Miso Dip. Biting into a particularly crunchy piece, we realized, moments later, that we had just eaten our first chicken comb—or chicken mohawk, as we like to call it.
There’s a playfulness to Myers’ food—and not just in his ability to get us to pop unknown things into our mouth.
The Grilled Yuba, which was filled with truffle cheese and sprinkled with togarashi, reminded us of Pinoy cheese sticks, but with tofu skin substituting for lumpia wrapper.
We loved the King Crab Melt—chunks of crab meat and pimento cheese trapped between little slices of golden brown bread. The Housemade Ricotta with Preserved Lemon and Black Sugar on toast was another favorite.
The Larger Plates were big treats. Seared Hokkaido Scallops on a bed of peas and beans were delightful—plump, perfectly cooked and naturally sweet. Kagoshima Beef topped with onion jam, alfalfa sprouts and ponzu was unforgettable—flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth tender. It gave somebody in our group, who claimed to be too stuffed, good reason to pick up her fork again.
Perhaps in a late attempt to add a dose of healthy greens to our meal, we ordered Young Kale Salad tossed with hazelnuts, maitake, truffle pecorino, shallots and vinaigrette.
Then we restored balance in the universe by choosing three kinds of dessert: Caramel French Toast with Coconut Sorbet and Kopi Syrup; Parfait of Raspberry, Rose and Cocoa Mochi; and Calamansi, Creme Fraiche, Creamsicle.
Symphony of sweetness
Don’t make us choose a favorite. Each one had something special to offer.
The French toast was a symphony of richness and sweetness, the Parfait of Raspberry was a love story in a bowl, while the Calamansi Creamsicle, caught between two tuile cookies, was the most delicate and refreshing ice cream sandwich we’ve ever eaten and a fitting tribute to the Philippine lemon.
It was while attacking dessert—digging for cocoa mochi, exclaiming over the calamansi, dunking another piece of toast in the kopi syrup—that Myers reappeared at our table.
He looked almost amused. “This is a good sign,” he said, grinning.
Our meal almost over, we soon bade Myers and his staff—“95 percent Filipino,” we were told—good-bye and left Adrift. We had overeaten but still felt like floating—from the great meal, the excellent service, the “delicious” company.
We’d like to get lost there again.
Adrift by David Myers is at Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby Tower 2. To make reservations, call +65 66885657 or e-mail [email protected]
Singapore Airlines flies four times from Manila to Singapore daily. For bookings, call 7568888 or visit www.singaporeair.com.